Outdoor Lighting 101

Posted on: September 25, 2015 by Nettel Media

Category: General

Outdoor Lighting 101

Shooting video outdoors can allow you to shoot beautiful scenes, explore new territory and take advantage of the natural lighting of the sun. Though the sun can provide exquisite lighting, it is important to maintain a balance and keep control of the shooting environment when the lighting changes. 


Keep in mind that while you may be using the natural light and therefore may not need artificial lighting, this may cause other workload situations for your crew. Ensure you plan and research the exact shots you’ll be looking for. Here are three tips to keep in mind when shooting outside.


White balance

Many cameras nowadays automatically do white balance, but if yours does not, ensure you do so before you shoot! White balance allows your camera to capture the most accurate colours in your video. To learn more about white balance, check out this blog post from Photography Life.


Harsh sunlight vs soft sunlight

Sunlight is usually harshest around midday. This harsh sunlight will often shine bright on your subjects face, creating dark and harsh shadows. Not to mention your subjects may be squinting, which may not be the expression you’re looking for. For the best lighting, try to use the sun as a backlight and a soft reflector board to light your subjects up without having them washed out or squinting. Be careful not to create a silhouette by having an extremely bright background. 


Reflectors and flags

In many cases you will need to use extra supplies to add light or create negative light. If your subject’s face is only half lit up by the sun, use a reflector to touch the light onto the other side of their face, and if they’re washed out, use a flag. 


This article from VideoMaker shares a great tip about using your hand to determine the best spot to shoot your subject on a bright day. Finally, when it comes time to shoot, ensure you are choosing the right camera and lens for the job. 


Get in touch with us to learn more about shooting outside or if you need our assistance in helping you set up your outdoor shoot.



Image: Bravo_Zulu_ via Flickr Creative Commons

Blog Comments